WEST Ham’s teenage goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu has agreed to switch his loyalty from England to Nigeria and commit his international to the Super Eagles despite having featured for English U15 and U16 teams.
Jinadu, 17, has represented England at the U-15 and U-16 levels and is expected to break into the West ham senior team soon. Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has decided to get the youngster’s commitment now before he becomes a big name in English football that will make getting him to switch more difficult.
Since taking up his job in 20176, Mr Rohr has sought to cash in on the growing number of second and third generation diasporans who are eligible to play for their countries of birth. he has successfully managed to attract the likes of Carl Ikeme, Tyronne Ebuehi, Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, etc to the Super Eagles and is now looking to extend this further.
At the moment, the Eagles lack depth in the goalkeeping department and calls for the coach to look for more talent intensified after the recent African Cup of Nations. South Africa based Daniel Akpeyi was chosen by Mr Rohr as the team’s number one at the tournament but he came in for criticism over his lack of confidence.
Akpeyi, 32, was criticised for his inability to instil confidence into the team and also his inability to deal with crosses. He was also blamed for Nigeria’s semi-final loss to Algeria with many saying he should have done better for Mahrez’s last minute freekick, prompting Mr Rohr to use the more steady Francis Uzoho in the third place match against Tunisia.
Jinadu has had talks with the Nigerian Football Federation and he is now poised to commit his international future to Nigeria. He will have to go through a Fifa switch in line with international footballing requirements.